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strong exhaust smell

OK its running fine but it has a strong exhaust smell.

It has a catalytic converter (unknown condition) and a OEM muffler.

Would installing a new catalytic converter take away the smell, or what else could it be?

1988 non turbo 8v

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Lowell

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Old 12-28-2006, 04:03 PM
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Hatch seal....if you smell it in the car...
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:09 PM
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rear hatch seal, rear hatch adjustment pins, carbon canister, shifter boot insulation (below the leather boot)
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:10 PM
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oops failed to mention outside the car not inside.
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Lowell

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Old 12-28-2006, 04:19 PM
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If the cat is trashed you will have a strong sulpher smell. (most of the time)
Could be running rich, that smells...............yucky. Have you switched brands of gas or run gas from a discount place?
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Old 12-28-2006, 04:40 PM
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Is it possible to run ok , but rich?

I'll try high test gas also
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:06 PM
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Sure, it's quite possible to run rich but okay. Oversimplified, the oxygen sensor tells the computer how to set the fuel mixture, so it could be that. If it's not plugged in, the car will run but run rich, so make sure the oxygen sensor is plugged in and has good connections. Pull one of the spark plugs and check the color. If it's black, then the mixture is rich and the problem is before the cat. If it's tan, then check out your catalytic converter.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:23 PM
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I'll check that in the morning thanks,

Does the computer send a check engine (red excalamation) for the O2 sensor? Come to think of it what all does trip the red light?
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:37 PM
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There are many things that trip the light but the oxygen sensor is not one of them. I don't know what the complete list is, but it's for critical things like brake fluid, low oil level, emergency brake on, etc. Sorry I am not more help on the list...maybe someone else will know or know where to find the complete list.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:59 PM
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what's your gas mileage like? if it's below 20 for 'normal' mixed street and highway driving you probably need to change the O2 sensor. i have a strong smell in my car, and i believe it's because of the hatch seal. weirdly, it only happens when i have the windows open, worse when they're just cracked, but not at all with the windows shut. my car has no cat, and the smell isn't bad (at least i dont think so, but i love the smell of just about any exhaust). with the cat my car smells like normal exhaust from any other car.

i'll second the charcoal cannister theory, check under the drivers side front fender and see if the smell is there.

if the smell is raw gas it's most likely the charcoal cannister. if it's exhaust then you may have an issue.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:03 PM
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My car does the same thing, usually when i get on it a little, the trunk seal may be bbad, but I dont think the exhaust should be that strong, I am trying to change the O2, but so far I cant get it out.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:21 PM
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I did put a new O2, now it surges, so i unplugged it... my problem is elsewhere.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:59 PM
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Lexluther, you probably have a vacuum leak somewhere.

BTW, you should check out OT...you could do battle with Superman...
Old 12-29-2007, 09:30 PM
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If you smell exhaust when your driving with the window down or cracked some, it is the rear hatch seal or pins. It's common on these cars. Adjust the hatch pins & see if the hatch seal is seperated. Rennbay has new hatch pins that are made by someone on rennlist. I've got a set and they make a huge difference.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion View Post
Lexluther, you probably have a vacuum leak somewhere.

BTW, you should check out OT...you could do battle with Superman...

Right you are. If you don't get this fixed, I'll smell you coming.

A way-rich mixture will overwork a CAT, and cause a sulphur, rotten-egg smell. Plain ol' unburned fuel smell might very well be the evaporative emissions system (charcoal cannister).

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Old 08-06-2008, 12:23 PM
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